By Lee Williams
You can reserve a $1,499 Biofire 9mm Smart Gun today for a refundable deposit of $149. You’ll get to pick the color of the frame, the trigger and the magazine release. You can choose a right- or-left hand model and add a custom serial number at no extra charge. Additional magazines are $49 each, and for $99 you can purchase a year of concierge white-glove service, known as “Biofire Care.”
“Your Smart Gun will ship in the order it was reserved. Order now to secure your spot in line,” the company promises on its website.
But what you can’t do is shoot the thing before you plunk down your money, nor can nearly anyone else. Biofire is not allowing independent reviews of its new smart gun, at least not anytime soon.
“In the short term, we’re not doing that kind of thing yet. We’re trying to phase in our engagement with the public on this stuff,” Amy Jasper, Biofire’s communication director said Tuesday. “We’re hosting product demos on Zoom, interviews with the CEO, and then the next thing we’ll host are some onsite range days for folks in the firearm media – allowing folks to put a few rounds through it. After that, we’ll be able to send firearms out to do whatever you want with it. It’s a phased approach.”
Jasper said the company lacks the “capacity” to allow traditional firearm reviews, even though they’re already accepting downpayments for the pistol, which she said should start shipping during Q1 or Q2 of 2024.
For now, you have to take Biofire’s word that the smart gun’s “integrated fingerprint and 3D facial recognition systems” will work as advertised and unlock the pistol when it’s needed, especially in what Mas Ayoob called “the gravest extreme.”
There is much more at stake with the release of any new smart gun than the release of a next generation GLOCK or a new SIG SAUER. Even though New Jersey lawmakers toned down the state’s infamous smart-gun mandate, which would have required Garden State gun dealers to only sell firearms with user-recognition technology the minute a viable smart gun hit the market, the gun-ban industry will still demand all new firearms contain fingerprint scanners or facial-recognition software.
In other words, anti-gunners will use the release of a new “smart gun” as a cudgel to leverage more infringements of our Second Amendment rights. If it works, that is.
Therefore, when a new smart gun is unveiled, it’s vital to see if it actually works, and that’s where independent testing comes in – not a demo on Zoom or a dog-and-pony show at the company’s range. If you’re becoming suspicious, it’s because we’ve seen these hands-off tactics from manufacturers before with the Hudson 9mm, Remington’s ill-fated R51 and the very first version of the GLOCK 42, and they all proved to be junk.
‘Similar to a GLOCK 19’
In an interview Thursday with the Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project, when asked if his smart gun is reliable, Kai Kloepfer, Biofire CEO and founder, said, “I would say the short answer is yes.”
“The long answer, as a gunowner, the fundamental thing that no one has ever done is build a smart gun that delivers on its key promise of only working for you. Most importantly to your question, it needs to be a good gun,” Kloepfer said. “What I would say is the pre-production unit we have now – by the point where we’re asking customers to put full payments down – the expectation is yes; it will be similar to a GLOCK 19 in reliability. If we had final production units we would be shipping to customers.”
Some pre-production models can fire hundreds of rounds without a malfunction, Kloepfer said, while others experience one malfunction per magazine.
“We’ve run a pretty rigorous test parameter for over two years now,” he said. “Our intent here is, we are first and foremost building a home-defense handgun, not a battle rifle, so we are focusing on it being very reliable in that environment, so I would say it’s not the ideal firearm to take to the desert in Afghanistan.”
Kloepfer’s current model comes with iron sights and an integral red laser, but he said future models will include a red-dot, which “will be fully integrated into the power source of the gun – no extra batteries and no need to turn it off and on.”
Biofire has raised more than $30 million to develop its smart gun, an effort led by the Founders Fund. While the majority of his investors are anonymous, Kloepfer said he has not taken money from Bloomberg, Giffords, Brady or other anti-gun groups.
“We are backed by a very broad range of people,” he said. “Our goal here is to build firearms. We’ve never supported any mandates or restrictions of firearms.”
Biofire posted a well-produced video on its website of retired Navy SEALs shooting and reloading the clunky looking gun.
“The Biofire Smart Gun was designed specifically for real gun owners who want a quality home defense firearm that cannot be used by children or criminals,” Mike Corbett, Biofire advisor and former member of SEAL Team 6 is quoted as saying in a press release. “In a few years, I believe that the head of every household in America who wants a home defense firearm is going to choose this Smart Gun.”
Biofire did not follow through on a request to make Corbett available for an interview to discuss his comments.
Ian McCollum, host of Forgotten Weapons on the YouTube channel, was allowed to examine Biofire’s weapon at length, and shoot two 10-round magazines at the company’s indoor range for an episode of his program.
“This is the challenge of developing your whole new firearms platform and biotech sensor platform at the same time,” McCollum said during the episode after experiencing a failure-to-feed malfunction. “So, that’s why this is still pre-production. They’re going to get these bugs worked out in the next couple of months.”
In Biofire’s press release, McCollum’s quotes are much more laudatory: “The Biofire Smart Gun shoots like a gun – there’s no delay. If it weren’t for the futuristic look, you wouldn’t know that it isn’t just a regular mechanical pistol. That’s very appealing to people interested in a home defense firearm, which is a significant market segment. I’ve come away from the opportunity to fire the gun myself pretty excited and impressed by the system – so far, Biofire has done it right.”
Kloepfer would not say whether he’s paying McCollum.
“I can’t talk exact details,” he said. “You’re welcome to ask him, but I’m not allowed to disclose that under an NDA (non-disclosure agreement).
Neither would Kloepfer say if he’s compensating the SEALs.
“I still can’t disclose that,” he said.
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This story is part of the Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project and is published here with their permission.
I wouldn’t have one of those things if it were free.
Oh, hell, I’d take a free one. Probably wouldn’t fire it. Might be a collector’s item someday.
Man, who collects useless shit?
Wanna see my Beanie Babies stash?
“Wanna see my Beanie Babies stash?”
Beanie Babies at the range, great idea!
10 yards, .22lr? Dance, Beanie Baby! 😉
I bought an R51 when they were at fire sale prices specifically because it was a a cool looking, unreliable oddity. I think people will be interested in it in the future *because* it was such a weird operating system and such a flop.
It’s not like it’s my only pistol.
Start working from home! Great work for-Ever, Stay at Home Moms OR anyone needs an extra income. Get started. You only need a computer bgh and a reliable computer connection so don’t get late try……. https://payincashh.blogspot.com
Me too, it’s a space gun. I’d put it in the collection. It would take a great deal oops-free use before I could trust it as a carry gun. My current rotation is pretty reliable.
More concerned about the, “all guns must now be smart guns” crowd than I am about the gun itself.
Kyle, I think you missed the point. This is not carry gun. This is a gun a cop will carry. This is specifically for home use only.My problem with this system is the anti-gun crowd will try to ram this down our throats like the libs are trying to ram electric vehicle down our throats. Great ideas in theory but lots of pitfalls.
be interesting to see what happens if it fails in a self-defense application…..
“be interesting to see what happens if it fails in a self-defense application…..”
‘Interesting’ as in the ancient Chinese curse of “May you live in interesting times’, interesting?
I think I’ll pass, thanks… 🙁
Thats why I think the company is crazy. The PLCAA does not cover product defects. 1st time this thing fails in the pinch, the company is going to have a hell of a lawsuit on its hands.
“We’re trying to phase in our engagement with the public on this stuff”
We’re trying to phase in our engagement with the gullible public on this stuff by giving anti-gun time to hype it to do the marketing for us and enact laws making it mandatory to ensure we have a captive market.
I think it’s as simple as knowing the gun isn’t ready for prime time and trying to manage community expectations. For instance when Ian tested it under *very* friendly conditions it couldn’t get through one magazine. The “smart” part worked great but the “gun” part not so much at this point.
Skepticism is warranted, but community engagement is pretty important for a new company so I don’t blame them for that part.
RE: “Our intent here is, we are first and foremost building a home-defense handgun, not a battle rifle, so we are focusing on it being very reliable in that environment, so I would say it’s not the ideal firearm to take to the desert in Afghanistan.”
In other words…Buy a dog.
(At a minimum) I want the stuff that’s good enough for the military.
OK, TTAG –
Make the deposit and get on the wait list.
When it arrives, review it like any other gun…
My thought exactly. And I found this tidbit from the manufacturer to be intriguing:
“…integrated fingerprint and 3D facial recognition systems…”
So this thing is supposed to incorporate FRS? Maybe I’m completely misunderstanding, but I read the article twice and I believe that’s the intent of the statement. My question is…how? Doesn’t an FRS require a camera” Where would the aperture be…on the rear of the slide facing you to capture your facial image? Does it require Bluetooth connection to a separate source that houses the actual database and computing power? What if the connection is lost, such as a power outage during a natural catastrophe, where looting is often a concern? Even if everything works as designed, would the FRS recognize your face in a contorted state due to fear or low-light shadowing, when it compares your image to a (assumedly) pre-recorded image in its database?
What if you happened to burn or cut your thumb (or whichever finger serves as the primary for the fingerprint function) while doing yard work? I assume the presence of a bandage will prohibit the gun from unlocking for you, or even the resulting scar as it heals over the next couple of weeks. What if an intruder grapples with you and you don’t achieve a perfect grip alignment with your hand as your reach for your gun?
It just so happens that I was in a meeting earlier this morning, and the other guys were teasing me about what they interpret as my aversion to new technology (nevermind I’m the company’s IT guy, but who whatever…). I prefer to pay cash and shun Paypal/Venmo. I prefer my older truck instead of the newest model with all the electronic goodies. I prefer to grow my own food from my own garden instead of relying on the supermarket to always have what I want every day. Etc, etc.
Maybe it’s just me being stubborn, but I prefer my gun to be simple and reliable. That’s it. Accessories and new-fangled goodies are fun, but if the poop hits the fan and I need to draw and defend, I just want to have my simple gun that goes ‘bang’ when I pull the trigger and sends the bullet where I want it to go. I’m suspicious of anything that purports to change that.
It’s in the red dot ask possum.
the FRS is apparently in the base.
“Where would the aperture be…on the rear of the slide facing you to capture your facial image”
Yes, that’s where the lens is. To anticipate your next question, yes it’s an IR camera that works with the light off. They actually appear to have thought the use of this through pretty well.
Also yeah, you’re literally just being stubborn. This thing may or may not suck but you’ve pre-judged and switched your brain off about it.
I wrote a well-crafted reply, but ultimately chose to delete it and simply tell you “yup…I refuse this”. California’s relentless push for technology that gives elites increased control over you and your life (think microstamping) is the vanguard for elites everywhere to march toward the day when stuff like this becomes mandatory for us.
Go ahead and buy one if you want. Place it on your nightstand and rely on it for your ability to defend yourself and your family against intruders. TEHO.
They may make it Glock level reliable but would it ever be Glock level affordable? Neat tech but will absolutely be more expensive than it’s worth if it is made as reliable as it needs to be so can’t say it would begin to interest me more than a dozen other pistols on my wishlist and a larger safe
@I Haz A Question, it also has a reasonable approach to security by not being connected to a network at all and in fact (supposedly) not storing anything about its users at all. TEHO, and I appreciate that you’re not trying to say your opinion is more than that.
@SAFEupstateFML, Sure, and for a scratch design even *approaching* Glock reliability would be an achievement by itself.
Your answers are in the FW video.
Simple as that.
As was shown in the FW video with the gun choking on mags I’m not so confident that they could easily get MECHANICAL things fixed so easily and certainly not to the reliability of a G19.
The CEO is gonna be sorry he uttered that comment.
You can now be damn sure that the reviewers will now put this Biofire and a G19 through the same torture tests and who would put money on the Biofire coming out equivalent?
Stupid arrogance on Biofire side for setting a near impossible high bar to reach.
However they may still sell to gun newbies.
I guess, Haz, that I would not trust that this so-called “Smart Gun” does not keep your face and finger prints in a data base somewhere. Along with whatever else they have in mind. It might be smart enough for that, and not much else. And voila, there is gun registration list our crooks in Congress (and the anti-gun crowd have been drooling about for years, as well. Also, what if the stupid thing decides to stop working because of the “smart technology” screwing up, either deliberately, or because it is junk? I think I would rather keep my “dumb gun”, and in turn, the dumb politicians can keep their “smart guns”. It is up there with the EV’s, and smart chips in all the appliances that have made me want to keep my stupid, non-chipped ones around as long as possible.
The gun and base station have no internet connectivity or wifi/bluetooth/whatever connectivity to each other. The gun processes facial recognition on board, not online.
To be honest, I think the mechanical faults are much more likely to be a problem for this gun than the “smart” features. If it won’t shoot when needed, no one will want it, and right now it clearly has teething problems. The smart features seem like they work pretty well, at least under controlled demo conditions (not the same thing as real-world use by any stretch).
As others have said, the anti-gun zealots who will use this to advance their cause worry me more than the gun itself, which seems interesting but far from a sure bet to succeed.
Looks like I’m not the only one with reservations about this tech…
Dang, I wish Scotty Kilmer reviewed firearms…….
That guy is a hoot!
Blah, blah, blah, same wolf……..different disguise!!
Oh, look! NaVy sEaLs!!!1! Meow I halftabuy!!
Well it was either that or splash some neon green on it for anti zombie use.
“Biofire has raised more than $30 million to develop its smart gun, an effort led by the Founders Fund. While the majority of his investors are anonymous, Kloepfer said he has not taken money from Bloomberg, Giffords, Brady or other anti-gun groups.”
how can he be so gullible?
The founders fund is full of anti-gun liberals and groups money. You took money from an anti-gun group.
Anyone think “bio-fire” sounds like a nasty disease?!?🙄🙃
I’ll be here all week…I need a little levity. At the auto mechanic right now🙁
Some expensive things are nice, like a vacation with your girl.
Getting a vehicle fixed is not that kind of nice… 🙁
Put 30k rounds through it and I still wouldn’t buy it. I already have a home defense gun in my nightstand, a Walther PPQ 45 and spare magazine. Suck the lungs right out of a criminal and turn his brain into oatmeal. Amy and the ceo may go suck start a Glock. Look at this baby!
Once again, the perfect gun for people who never want to own a gun.
Really, if you think about it a minute these guys are wasting their time and money. I don’t think anyone is onboard with this idea except A2A and they’re not going to buy one either.
With 1 hour of trying, the lockpicking lawyer will find 3 exploits that do not take more than 10 seconds to execute. And some people with electronic and hacking skills will find or create and program instant exploit devices within a week.
“With 1 hour of trying, the lockpicking lawyer will find 3 exploits that do not take more than 10 seconds to execute.”
Harry (the Lock-picking Lawyer) is actually a POTG.
I hope someone suggests to him to review it…
“phase in our engagement with the public” In other words, VERY slowly with deliberate caution, ease their product into the market place, careful to avoid transparent and independent evaluation. That’s why purchasers will get the “white glove” hand-job treatment. Don’t get mad and write a review, we’ll take care of you!!!
They want to sell their gizmo while avoiding ANYTHING that could possibly interrupt or slow that process.
BIG RED FLAGS
That’s indicative very worried investors and rightfully so.
“Similar to a Glock”, huh? Well, an elephant is similar to a zebra. They’re both mammals and have 4 legs. Ignore the nose.
The firearm world equivalent to “tastes like chicken”.
“’In the short term, we’re not doing that kind of thing yet. We’re trying to phase in our engagement with the public on this stuff,’ Amy Jasper, Biofire’s communication director said Tuesday.”
“We’re trying to sell pigs on pokes.”
Regarding Haz’s question on FRS technology. From what I understand, it has the database built in, meaning it stores the shooter’s facial data points in a file on a chip in the gun. If the face that the camera sees doesn’t match a file in the FRS folder, and if the fingerprint doesn’t match a file in its folder, no joy. They noted somewhere that it can be programmed to unlock for multiple shooters, but is not capable of communicating with anything outside the gun. As for an aversion to electronic gadgets, I’m with you. It is remarkably easy to render a recently manufactured vehicle into fish structure.
Gadsden, if they happen to fold after sending out only a few hundred units, it will become a novelty item with likely collector value. If they last through 10k or 50k units, much less so.
Regardless, there won’t be one in either my cabinet, or my portfolio.
Let’s see, I can spend $500 on a Glock 19 that will 99.9999% of the time function reliably. Or I can spend $1,000 on this flight of fancy weapon that will always have me doubt its reliability when I might really, really need to use it. If it fails to work as ‘designed’ and its owner gets injured or killed, can he or the next of kin sue Bioifire?
I’d love to review it and I really hope it works great.
Interesting — why do you hope it works great? Wouldn’t that just provide an incentive to anti-gunners to push for legislation to require this technology on all firearms?
There will be a stampede from at least 5-10 states to see which one could virtue signal first and ban all guns except “smart” guns.
“There will be a stampede from at least 5-10 states to see which one could virtue signal first and ban all guns except “smart” guns.”
It will get shot down by the current Court make-up.
The second the Leftist Scum ™ regain control of the SCotUS, all bets are off… 🙁
California FTW. We probably won’t even wait till the first unit rolls out. Hell, we already have microstamping on the books and that is a piece of vaporware…….
Because this is “The Truth About Guns”, not “The Truth About Guns When It’s Politically Convenient”.
This site is usually far more a political site than a gun site (get it?).
Mr. Taylor, I getcha, but I’m curious why you hope it works well.
Not saying that you should hope that it doesn’t work — I gave my opinion why I don’t favor biometric firearms, just interested in your view (political or not).
Man with no Name,
Because there really are some good use cases for the technology, if it works. I think home defense is the most limited and least valuable use case, but that may lead to further development that allows for LEO carry, which is where I find real value.
Bingo – was thinking the same thing. At first blush all the proposed features lend themselves to LEO use, who have a greater chance of their side arms being used against themselves.
Ah, considerations that should be considered.
So it might seem that working on the technology with law enforcement agencies to develop this to keep their officers safer, would have more value than trying to force this on the general public.
(H/T to Mr Taylor)
Man with No Name, yup, but LEO agencies want to be 100% sure it works before they buy it. The general public is a larger, more gullible customer.
Would love to read about the review. I would also like to know how it stands up to someone with a taser. I will never buy one period. Perfect choice for a fudd though.
Blah, Blah, Blah – also, TEAM this/TEAM that/go TEAM, “all of the above” (energy) and other moronic prog BS.
Here’s an objective review: Useless POS with no purpose for idiots. See also battery cars.
I don’t like this pistol and I don’t always agree with Ian, but I always respect him. Nothing in his review or this article leads me to question his objectivity.
Key part of owning any firearm is the responsibility to keep it out of the hands of unauthorized personnel 24/7. The bioGun is another Do It For Me gadget like self driving/parking vehicles.
If a perp gets their hands on a biogun and cannot shoot it they’ll get mad and use it as a bioclub to beat the sht out of its dumbbell owner.
I am all for these guns, being issued to the FBI, the ATF, bureau of land management, the Secret Service and personnel, protecting federal judges, cabinet members, senators, and representatives…. Let us know how they work 20 years from now….
Make it mandatory for the IRS’s new STASI hires.
This is perfect to have around to toss to the “bad guy” as you proceed to triple tap them.
“In a few years, I believe that the head of every household in America who wants a home defense firearm is going to choose this Smart Gun.”
I’m sorry but I couldn’t help but laugh at this idiotic statement. 🤣
Here’s one “head of household” that says: not a snowballs chance in Hell.
That’s one of the funniest things I’ve read in a very long time!
On the bright side, this would seem to market well with liberal folks that actually would like a self-defense weapon they thought was “safe”. Wouldn’t be a bad thing to win over a few over to our pro-2A side or at least part-way over. You think this new firearm development is going to stop anti-gunners? I wouldn’t bet my shorts. We’re in for the protracted fight, folks – at least until the Supreme Court starts making more rulings besides Bruen, meaning we need the subterfuge-from-Biden directing the ATF to come down on the ATF like they did the EPA. And maybe a few politicians actually get sued to be removed from their positions for violating their Constitutional oath…
“Wouldn’t be a bad thing to win over a few over to our pro-2A side or at least part-way over.”
I was thinking the same thing. It could possibly open a few eyes to a new worldview.
It is aptly reviewed by Ian McCollum from “Forgotten Weapon” …
Ian was gentle but I suspect they’ve underestimated the difficulty of getting a new gun design to work reliably. Possibly even more important is getting customers to actually trust that new design once it’s working… they really set themselves up for difficulty by not adapting a proven design for the base gun.
gee, wonder what happens if you hold a magnet up to the side….
“wonder what happens if you hold a magnet up to the side….”
Why we need the ‘Lockpicking Lawyer’ to review it…
Given the laws triggered to take effect in New Jersey and other states when a “viable” “smart gun” is brought to market, any company trying to do so is a second amendment traitor.
That was only in NJ, and surprisingly that law was repealed a few years ago. Ian talks about it in his review/preview video.
Looks like it has been updated, but not repealed, as of 2019:
“New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy Tuesday signed a law requiring gun dealers in the state carry so-called “smart guns” in what some say is an effort to create a market for the technology.
“New Jersey has had a smart gun law in place since 2002, requiring licensed dealers to only sell handguns with user recognition technology, but it has been in suspension as there are no such firearms on the consumer market. The bill signed this week by Murphy, a Democrat, replaces the dormant law with one that requires gun dealers to carry at least one model in their stores should they become available in the future.”
Thanks for the clarification, I’m sure Ian explained it correctly and I misquoted him.
So the NJ morons weren’t 100% morons and were cognizant enough now of politics to moderate their law…for now.
As God made little green apples, when this gun hits the market and has any kind of success NJ will ban all other guns.
“As God made little green apples, when this gun hits the market and has any kind of success NJ will ban all other guns.”
The Thomas court will smack it down *hard*….
“As God made little green apples, when this gun hits the market and has any kind of success NJ will ban all other guns.”
“…requires gun dealers to carry at least one model in their stores should they become available in the future.”
Well, if you can’t get one in stock for your store, because it’s a tiny, low-production company, I guess that’s just too bad for your store. Sorry you had to shut down….
Pretty bad when the red flags show up before the gun is even purchased.
Biofire versus Biofart.
I’m pissed my car has wires running to the what used to be carburetor. I will never own a biofart gunm,just more sht to go wrong. And if you really think about it this is an insult to reasonable gunm owners.
You are standing on a muddy river bank, lose your balance, slide all the way down and into the water. Now is your Biofart going to function when that narwhal raises its ugly head?
Somehow [responsible] got changed to [reasonable] on my “smart phone”.
Dumb smart phone you are not working right.
I hate these phones that think that they’re smarter than I am.
They’re right, but I still hate ’em.
(And they want us to buy gunms with technology? What if the gun, like my phone, decides that I really didn’t mean “shoot” when I pulled the trigger?)
They’ll provide with an incantation you can recite to make it shoot again. If that doesn’t work, you can always have it analyzed by a shrink. Of course, you might already be a goner by then. (Snicker.)
Shadow — 🙂
Really? You want me to trust my life to “technology”, but you can’t even keep your website working??? WTF!! Hard pass from me.. all my guns go boom when the trigger is pulled. Raised 3 kids into adults with kids and guess what??? The never touched my guns unless at the range or hunting. How about people raise their kids right and stop coddling them. Quit giving idiots that go to gun free zones to kill free press. And finally on my rant, stop blaming guns and blame society, parents, etc… criminals will always be criminals, so BS laws will not stop that!
Indeed! Start prosecuting criminals who misuse firearms. But that apparently isn’t racially equitable/fashionable in democRat controlled cities and states.
Scenario 1: At the range with bio-non-fire gun. Your buddy wants to try it out. “Nope, you have to buy your own, this only works for me”. Who hasn’t swapped firearms with your friend at the range to try something out?
More Serious Scenario 2: You have your multiple home defense bio-non-fire guns placed in strategic places around your house. Your well-trained family can’t use any of the guns because only one person can use it during a threat? I picked up on the “head of household” comment to mean only one person can use it.
They haven’t “accepted money from anti-gun lobbying groups”, but they’ve accepted money from venture capital funds led by the same people who donate millions to the anti-gun lobbying groups. Look up some of those groups’ statements about their investment, they read exactly like a Giffords word salad on “preventing gun violence”.
“Mike Corbett, Biofire advisor and former member of SEAL Team 6 is quoted as saying in a press release. “In a few years, I believe that the head of every household in America who wants a home defense firearm is going to choose this Smart Gun.”
Suer so how much did Mr. Corbett get paid for his ringing endorsement?
Smart guns, if they exist are for dumb people or at least those that are most gullible and accept this asinine smart gun concept.
A glowing feature report was on the news (6:00, Fox news 13) last night.